Candidates will face many questions during job interviews. Many of them will be easy to answer, other more difficult questions can be pretty awkward. These awkward interview questions will often be structured in a way that enables interviewers to learn about the candidate’s character, preparation and professionalism.
Here a few examples of the most common awkward job interview questions and how to answer them with aplomb.
How To Answer Awkward Interview Questions About Your Current Job
There is nothing especially wrong with any reason you might have for leaving one job and seeking another. But how you convey that reason to a prospective employer is crucial. Never speak ill of your current or former employer, as this will come across as unprofessional.
Your prospective employer knows there are many justifiable reasons for moving on from a job. Whatever your reason, you must frame it in a positive way. For example, don’t just say you are bored in your current job. Instead, say you are looking to take the next step in your career. You are therefore seeking a position that challenges you and helps you develop professionally.
Let’s say the reason for your job search happens to be legitimately negative. It is possible to frame this as a positive of the company you are interviewing for. Thus avoiding anything negative about your current firm. For example, you are underpaid and overworked, but saying this would sound negative of your current working conditions.
So instead explain you to work for a company with similar values to your own. You want to work for an employer that will give you the opportunity to develop and learn new skills.
What Is Your Motivation?
As with the reason for leaving your current job, describing your motivation requires a little tweaking when answering during a job interview. Firstly, you want to identify your genuine reason for wanting the job. Then strip it down to its basic fundamentals.
One common motivation is wanting to earn more money. The basic fundamental of this reason is financial stability. This sounds better as a main motivational factor than just wanting more money. Using this strategy to answer this awkward interview question makes you sound more articulate and thoughtful.
Tell Me About Yourself
This common interview request is not your cue to regale them with every detail of your life! Remember, the interviewer has read your CV thoroughly and thus doesn’t need it repeated back to them word for word. Instead, focus on the most relevant item. Such as the recent experience you have that relates to the position you are applying for. Perhaps add a reason why you enjoy that particular work and keep it brief.
Understanding how to succinctly answer this question is an important step towards impressing the interviewer.
Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
You absolutely must have at least one or two questions ready for this part of the interview. It is basically a test of how much preparation you made for the interview. A serious candidate will have thoroughly researched the company and discovered something worth asking about.
Of course, many common questions that candidates have will often be answered over the course of the interview. This is why it is so important to get a few extra questions ready. Remember, you are using these questions to show off how much research you conducted into the company. Perhaps even engineer the situation to highlight a particularly positive aspect of yourself.
A couple of examples of good questions include asking if there will be opportunities for developing new skills. Wanting to know more about how the team is structured shows you are keen to understand your place in it. Also, research the company’s social media output and ask something relevant about a recent post.
Things You Should Never Be Asked In a Job Interview
Of course, there are certain topics which are out of bounds during a common job interview. Any questions about race, colour, sex, religion, national origin, birthplace, age, disability or marital/family status are more than just tough interview questions. It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of any of these subjects.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation where you are being asked something that seems off-limits, don’t feel you have to carry on. You are perfectly entitled to end an interview at any point if you feel it’s not right for you.
If you do decide to carry on, be sure to take the full name and position of the interviewer in case you feel you might be a victim of discrimination.
Prepare for Interviews Like a Pro
The above are just a few examples of questions which can lead to awkwardness if the candidate hasn’t prepared. There are of course other scenarios involving problem-solving etc that a successful candidate will need to prepare for. This is especially true in interviews for skilled positions such as IT and other Digital or Technical roles.
A good recruitment consultant can help candidates prepare for interviews. They can also offer career advice, chase for feedback on your behalf and ultimately help successfully secure an ideal position.
Have you ever been asked any awkward interview questions? Do you have any advice for others based on your experience? We would love to hear your feedback.